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Renewable energy could bring jobs to Indiana

Renewable energy could bring jobs to Indiana(By Bowdeya Tweh and Sarah Tompkins, The Times, Munster, Ind. viaEnergy Current)State and federal climate change legislation combined with new energy

standards could bring more than 39,000 new jobs to Indiana, environmental

officials said Friday.Jesse Kharbanda, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council,

said he was pleased to see the American Clean Energy and Security Act pass

in the House of Representatives in June. He said more negotiations are

needed to see the bill make it through the Senate."This is one of the most sweeping, most needed pieces of legislation in the

history of Congress," Kharbanda said.Indiana was considered the fastest-growing state for wind energy

development in the nation last year, said Hans Detweiler, manager of state

legislation and policy for the American Wind Energy Association.Indiana is also one the most viable sources for wind energy for the eastern

and northeast states, Detweiler said. Hoosiers already are running wind

turbines for Ohio and New Jersey, he said. However, Indiana is not one of

the 29 states and the District of Columbia with a renewable energy standard.In addition to reducing carbon emissions and U.S. dependency on foreign

oil, the federal legislation -- which if approved this year would go into

effect in 2012 -- would spark production in the renewable energy sector,

Detweiler said. Venture capital investment into clean technologies

nationwide already increased 10-fold between 2002 and 2008, Kharbanda said.The cost to ship renewable energy products to the United States from Europe

can increase the price of alternate energy sources, Detweiler said. "For

wind energy, they're sticking these 60-meter blades on ships and shipping

them through ports and transporting them on railways," he said.As a major manufacturing hub, Northwest Indiana has the potential to make

those same parts, Detweiler said. More than 1,000 firms in Indiana have the

ability to use their products in the wind industry alone, he said. Auto

part and boat companies could produce the fiberglass coating for turbine

blades and steel companies could construct the turbine bases if local

manufacturing became involved in producing renewable energy parts. Under a

standard that would generate 185,000 megawatts of electricity in the next

10 years, Indiana ranks No. 2 among states in per-capita investment and

manufacturing job creation potential.Kharbanda said he was disappointed earlier this year when a renewable

energy standard in Indiana failed to be approved for a fourth time. He said

even though a standard may be developed on a federal level, having a state

standard shows businesses and investors that the state is serious about

developing renewable energy resources.Kharbanda and Detweiler expect the debate on climate change legislation to

resume on Capitol Hill in early September.At the annual WIndiana Conference on wind energy earlier this week, Gov.

Mitch Daniels said Indiana is working on an energy strategy and will

aggressively pursue the new jobs that could come from producing renewable

energy parts."There is no better place in America, perhaps on the planet, to manufacture

the necessary equipment to make this dream real," Daniels said.For the very latest renewable energy jobs from Indiana, across The U.S. and

globally please click here